When you move from province to province within Canada, home utility habits can change markedly.
For example, if you were previously living in Alberta, chances are high you owned your own hot water tank.
But if you’ve recently relocated to Ontario, it may surprise you to learn that most Ontarians rent their water heater!
Why are habits so different from one province to the next? Do Ontarians know something Albertans don’t?
When You Leave, Your Water Heater Stays Behind
All things considered, a hot water heater may not look that big or bulky, but you can’t easily take it with you when you leave, nor do most homeowners try.
With more Canadians living more mobile lives than at any other time in modern history, renting a hot water heater can make smart financial sense for a variety of reasons.
Buy Versus Rent: A Cost Comparison
To give you a better sense of how the costs can work out if you choose to buy a hot water heater versus renting your unit, here is a little side-by-side cost comparison to consider.
Buying and installing a hot water heater
The first thing many homeowners forget when shopping around for a hot water heater is that the purchase price is only a portion of the expense when you own your own hot water heater.
You also have to pay a contractor to install it for you. This especially holds true if you want to apply for any energy efficiency upgrade credits or rebates offered in Ontario. Often, your contractor must be approved at the provincial level and must apply for the rebates on your behalf.
The cost of your new hot water heater (40- to 50-gallon capacity) can range from $350 to $1,500+ depending on model (tank or tankless) and fuel type (electric, gas, solar, etc.).
The cost to install your new water heater depends in part on the model. Tank models take a few hours to install and tankless models can take a full day if you are changing from a tank model.
Expect to pay $350+ for a tank model installation and up to $1,500 for a tankless installation.
When you choose to own your water heater, you will also need to pay for an annual inspection and maintenance service and for repairs as needed to keep your unit under warranty protection.
An annual inspection and maintenance service costs around $150. Repairs can easily cost the same or more depending on what needs service.
Renting a hot water heater
The typical rental fee for a hot water heater can cost anywhere from $15 to $55+ per month depending on the model and capacity of the unit.
In the vast majority of cases, this monthly rate includes preventative maintenance plus 24-hour repair service.
4 Smart Reasons to Consider Renting Your Hot Water Heater
These are four of the most common reasons our customers give for wanting to rent a hot water heater instead of buying one.
1. You can change providers when changing tanks without penalty
The Ontario Consumer Protection Act (OCPA) protects you if you want to change hot water heater providers as part of replacing your hot water heater itself.
The OCPA also protects you from rate hikes, early termination penalties and equipment buyout fees when you switch providers as a part of switching to a new hot water heater.
2. Maintenance and repairs are included in the rental agreement
It is definitely vital to read the fine print in your rental contract to ensure you understand how and how often preventative maintenance and repairs will be handled.
Reputable hot water heater rental companies will spell out these details plainly in your contract, specifying how repairs will be handled and what is and isn’t covered under your rental agreement (for example, repairs related to normal versus excessive wear and tear).
3. It is easier to keep your budget balanced month to month
When you rent your hot water heater, typically the annual maintenance costs plus unexpected repair needs are included with the monthly rental fee.
This way, you don’t have to experience the stress and worry that comes along with a hot water outage and a major unexpected repair bill at a time your budget really isn’t equipped to accommodate it.
4. You may have a rent-to-own option as well
If you do want to purchase a hot water heater but your current budget won’t stretch to purchase a new unit outright, some providers offer rent-to-own contracts as well.
Some of these contracts even include 0% financing with extended 12-year options available to make payments easy and affordable as you go.
Since a new hot water heater that receives regular (at least once per year) preventative maintenance can easily last 15 years, sometimes it can make good sense to lease to own if you plan to stay in the same area over time.
Choose Your Rental Company Wisely
Media coverage of unethical door-to-door hot water heater salespeople using pressure tactics has been widespread. So too has been coverage for unfair contracts that trap customers into signing an agreement with no end date!
The bottom line here is that when you decide to rent a hot water heater rather than buying one, the rental company you choose to work with really matters.
We recommend that all of our rental customers read about their consumer rights and be aware of what is and isn’t fair in a hot water heater rental contract.
Get in Touch
Is your hot water heater starting to slow down? We offer affordable models for sale and rent!
Give us a call at 1-613-967-1066 or visit us online.
P.S. Don't miss out: our special spring A/C tune-up offer includes a FREE air filter!